Unlike most, my nemesis is not an evil company or disease that takes your life and turns it upside down. No, my nemesis is my son, my beautiful golden son. He was a good boy as a toddler, picking up his toys and going to bed in the evenings when I declared it was bedtime for him. He would snuggle under his blanket with his stuffed bear and close his eyes tightly declaring he was already asleep. He ate everything on his plate, new foods included. He was perfect.
That perfection led to school, where he knew everything without being told. That led to not doing the daily work the teacher’s required. That led to failure on his report card, although all of his tests were As. I taught youngsters in the fifth grade and watched over them like a mother hen. No one watched over my son’s work, although I tried.
I caught him in the garage when he was in high school building a time machine. That’s what he called it anyway. When confronted about why he was building a time machine, he did respond to me.
“I’m making it just in case I need to go back in time and correct my mistakes.”
He worked on the machine to the exclusion of every thing else. He stopped eating, going to school, and doing his own laundry. His face grew gaunt. The luster fell out of his golden hair, turning it to a dish water blond. But his eyes grew in excitement with every new turn of his project. I was called to the school for conferences, but I went to seek answers. They told me that I would be jailed if I couldn’t get him to school on time. The conversation was not pleasant.
“Son, you have to go back to school. They are threatening me with jail time.”
“Mom, I’m so close to finishing this. I’ll make it right soon, I promise.”
I was arrested a week later. The judge sentenced me to two weeks in county jail with a fine of $25,000.00. When I told him I had no way of paying the fine, he said I could stay in jail until I came up with the money. Of course, I appealed his decision. I was allowed to go home until the jury trial.
“Son, I have to pay $25,000 now. Why won’t you go to school? They are incarcerating me!”
“Mom, I’m almost done.”
The morning of the retrial, I was fidgeting and worried. I had no lawyer, none would touch the case.
“Keep your kid in line and you won’t need a lawyer,” was the response I had been given.
We rose as the judge and jury came into the courtroom.
There was a door slammed shut as a handsome blond man came in with a pile of paperwork. He stepped into the bar and presented himself as my attorney. After being acknowledged, he waited for his turn to speak.
“Your honor, this woman has been a good parent and there has been a gross injustice here in accusing her of any of these charges. I have here the school records of her son, from elementary school through high school. The record keeping has been atrocious. I would like to present these records to show her son’s consistent attendance in school. The school records had him enrolled in one set of courses when he had been assigned to a completely different set.”
I couldn’t even speak. I was confused. I was also exonerated.
At the trials end, he gathered his materials, winked at me and left. I went home, the garage was empty but my son was sitting on the step with a cup of tea for me.
“I finished it, mom.”